The Yellow Line service in Chicago remains suspended as investigators continue to try and determine what caused a Chicago Transit Authority train to crash into rail gear yesterday.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating the accident, but it is not clear exactly why the snowplow had been on the track.
Authorities report that 38 straphangers were hurt when a commuter train with two cars in Chicago’s northside crashed into a diesel snowplow.
The Chicago Tribune, citing an insider familiar with the incident said that the CTA’s snowplow had been on the tracks to train.
Around 10:45 am, the incident occurred near the border between Evanston and Chicago where the Yellow Line ends at Howard Station.
Chicago Fire Department officials stated that the Yellow Line train had round a bend and hit the snowplow which was slowly moving down the tracks before it. The day was sunny with temperatures around 60 degrees.
ABC 7 reported that passengers felt a vibration and heard screeching before the crash.
Both riders and transit workers were knocked off their feet by the impact.
On Friday morning, the Yellow Line was suspended. Shuttle buses were available between Howard/Skokie/Dempster and Yellow Line.
The train’s cab was smashed into the side of the car, while emergency workers were busy assessing the passengers and bandaging those who had been injured.
Twenty-three people, including four kids, were transported to hospital. Keith Gray, assistant deputy chief paramedic of the Chicago Fire Department said that three people were in a serious or critical state, but no injuries were considered life-threatening.
Gray stated that 15 people were injured, but refused to be transported to hospital. Gray said that seven of those injured were CTA workers.
The victims ranged in age from 2 to 75 years.
The Chicago Tribune reported that a passenger heard the train driver “scream in pain” and observed blood on the rails and floor.
According to the Chicago Tribune, one severely injured passenger has filed a suit against the CTA. He claims that he was injured in the crash while riding on the second car of the train.
The steep terrain made it difficult for EMS to assess the injured passengers.
CTA officials have said that the cause of this crash is still being investigated.